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Recursive Referencing and Binomial Proportion Interval

To understand recursion, one of the most important concepts in programming languages, you could watch the movie, Chris Nolan’s Inception: it is about a dream within a dream within a dream, …and, read two statistical papers by Professor Robert Newcombe, one of the most prolific statisticians:

These two widely cited papers evaluate 7 and 11 methods to calculate single proportion (paper A) and the difference between proportions (paper B), respectively. Further more, they were in the same issue of Statistics in Medicine(Volume 17, 1998), and, they were also cross referenced! So here is a live story about recursive referencing(thanks to Prof. Newcombe):


  • An author writes two papers, A and B;
  • Paper B is in the  bibliographic reference session of paper A;
  • Paper A is also in the  bibliographic reference session of paper B;
  • Paper A and paper B are in the same issue of a journal.

Note that for Prof. Newcombe’s two linked papers, it is common and acceptable in publication practices. Recently I used these two wonderful papers to learn CI calculation and this post just want to lead to the concept of “recursion”  (reference in reference in reference).